Laboratory grown diamond sales triple
NPD Group, a well recognized market research firm releases findings from its recent project ‘Diamond Tracker’, which gathers data from a representative cross section of U.S. Speciality jewellers, 3950 doors in total. The study shares interesting data about how lab-grown diamonds are selling at retail. The percentage of total sales of laboratory grown diamonds has tripled from 0.1% in 2015 to 0.3% in 2016. NPD data also shows which lab-grown diamonds are most popularly selling at retail. They appear to be the same kind of diamonds that jewellers typically use in engagement rings :
Lab-Grown Diamonds Retail Sales by Carat Weight:
0.5–0.69ct 11%/ 0.7–0.89ct 19%/ 0.9–0.99ct 18%/ 1–1.49ct 37%/ 1.5ct &up 15%
Lab-Grown Diamonds Retail Sales by Shape: Round 81%, Princess 18%, Other 1%
Laboratory grown diamond benefits Retailers
Diamond industry analyst, Edahn Golan who has been consulting NPD on this project, says, ‘The consumer demand for lab-grown is rising, customers are buying items that are at the heart of natural diamond demand.’ Average sales center around 1ct stones. However, sales of few large stones have also been recorded. The interest in 2-3 ct stones displays that the demand is not limited to smaller budgets. This is crucial to speciality diamond retailers and gives them a reason to add lab-grown diamonds to their offering.
On another subject, last year saw decreases in mined diamond prices. Yet NPD’s data shows that many retailers cut their own prices, rather than pocket the extra margin. Laboratory grown diamonds offers retailers new horizons and opportunities for growth. The average cost of loose stones to retailers is around 40% less than comparable mined diamonds. This is a much bigger difference than anticipated by many in the trade. This benefits the retailer in two ways, firstly to improve the margins and secondly complements with the shifting consumer preferences to lower price diamonds as seen over the last two years. Jewellery set with lower priced lab-grown diamonds gives the retailers the opportunity to cater to this consumer shift while improving their turnover as well as to increase their margins. The turnaround of lab-grown is faster than that of mined diamonds of identical characteristics making them better assets for financial resources. (Source: Edahn Golan)
40% OF U.S. MILLENNIAL CONSUMERS ARE AWARE OF LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS AND 55% SAY ‘YES’ TO BUYING IT FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING
Another recent consumer study conducted by one of the most trusted market Intelligence Company by the global gem, jewellery and watch industry, MVI Marketing shows that the term lab-created diamonds is already recognized by over 40% of U.S. millennial jewellery consumers.
The study, conducted with 650 U.S. millennial-aged consumers with household incomes of $75,000 or more who have purchased fine jewellery within the past 2 years at one of the U.S.’s top 20 jewellery retail outlets or a local independent fine jewellery retailer, invited consumers to read about a brief explanation about lab-created diamonds and answer questions.
When asked if they were shopping for an engagement ring, would they consider lab-created diamonds, 55% answered ‘Yes’, with 21% ‘Not Sure’ and 24% ‘No’.
When asked about if these man-made stones should be referred to as ‘diamonds’, 65% answered ‘Yes’, because they are made with carbon just like natural diamonds.
While asking the main reason for their interest in lab-grown diamonds, majority chose the option ‘the less destructive mining that happens, the better’.
(See the graphs below, Source – MVI Marketing, U.S. Millennial Jewelry consumer research )